Friday, November 14, 1975
The Sports Weekly Magazine published an inside look at how Crispa snapped its six-game losing skid against Toyota during their out-of-town PBA Second Conference semifinal game in Cebu City.
THE INSIDE STORY
Sports Weekly Magazine
Published November 14-21, 1975
Thousands called them favorite ‘Whipping Boys! Almost everybody, including the fanatical followers, thought the Crispa-Floro Redmanizers had been buried too deep when they lost six straight matches to Toyota. But Sunday night in Cebu City, the Florians came alive, subjecting the Comets to a humihilating defeat that untangled a skein of defeats.
Also, the spell’s broken when the final buzzer sounded the end of their 48-minute hostility with the Redmanizers leaping with joy into each other’s arms and an ardent admirer jumping into the center of the court shouting, ‘They can’t beat us all the time. We did it. The jinx is shattered!’
For many a while, many minutes of breathless action, it seemed that the near-impossible would not happen. After erecting a 23-point bubble, the Comets suddenly threw their remaining strength into a wild, choking halfcourt press that forced the Redmanizers into pitiful shambles and a tight race to the end.
As the scorer would have it, it was bound to end that way, still and a shade of their past games where they had to go down the wire. Although many could not believe it, 8,000 spectators and million of TV viewers could attest that it was fact the Redmanizers could get back at the Comets.
A defeat would have returned the Redmanizers into limbo, nearer to the brink of elimination and for them that night a victory had been all that mattered. What with the Comets becoming taunts to them ever since the start of the league whereby the latter got clobbered time and again in most of their 11 outings.
There was drama after the Comets repulsed the Redmanizers in Iloilo Friday night. As the first conference champions continuously paraded to and from the hotel premises with prided heads, the Redmanizers where recounting the ordeal and were driven to a stage where they huddled and decided their fate.
The inside story, a prelude to the Cebu triumph, could fil a storybook well. Take all these:
American Johnny Burks was returning from the hotel restaurant when a group of Comets threw some side remarks which drew this warning: “Shit men! We will get you.” J.B. stomped the stairs and upon seeing some of the Redmanizers still exchanging jokes, he angrily thumbed them and said ‘how could you still smile when we’re beaten?’
That was the cue and the meeting of heads had to come. With Baby Dalupan and Danny Floro at the helm, the spade was decided to be called as such.
Co had to be tagged for an elemetary error that gave the decision to the Comets. Adornado too as cited for failure to act like a veteran of an internationalist (he hurried a shot in the closing seconds).
Manager Danny Floro and Dalupan were in one in castigating referee Venusto Marquez who again committed a blatant mistake which gave the Comets the needed cushion in the crucial closing seconds of the game.
The two resolved that the only way they could pull out a clean win was to be ahead by a big margin in the ultimate minute of the game. This way relayed to all. Never to relax. Keep pounding.
Floro, who considered the Iloilo defeat ‘one that hurt most,’ went to extent of going into a personal recluse if the Comets could put one over them again in Cebu. ‘I shall do this. This is my first time to join the team in the province and probably I am jinx. Let us shuffle the cards. I will stay off the court for a moment if we lose in Cebu. Maybe this will change the picture,’ he sarcastically addressed the solemn-faced aggrupation.
Baby, the brain on the bench, had it differently. It was as simple as this: Never let them buffalo their way. Play the game as it is. No more too much dribbling and take your men in defense and in offense trust your teammates with the golden hands: Co and Adornado.
Thus, was the plot.
Sunday night, the Comets came into the hardcourt cocky and blustery. There was torrent of venomous boos from all sectors as the pro-Redmanizers outnumbered the Toyota fans. But it was their night. The sudden turn to clumsiness, the awkwardness suddenly went into being and the scores got separated too apart in the third quarter as their opponents fought an endless art which was done with such command and elan.
The Redmanizers broke through and should the Comets make it to the finals, can they stretch it or will the Comets weld the snapped chain of defeat again?
This, everybody is waiting for.